Slow Watching and Relaxed Listening: Hearing with Eyes and Seeing with Ears

We live in a complex world that is ruled by speed. Everything and everyone is under pressure to go faster. We scroll the headlines of newspapers on our mobile phones and click with great velocity through some photos of our friends in the social media. Our habits of listening to music have changed over the last decades too: Seldom do we sit and just listen. We jog, sleep, shop, walk and kill silence with music. Thanks to YouTube, we devote more time to music listening, but we jump from one clip to another. No wonder that Facebook considers video clips to be a success when they break the limit of 15 seconds! But we all wish to have quiet and pleasurable moments when the time stands still. We want to have enough time for everything that we consider important…
Carl Honore in his book “In Praise of Slowness” in 2004 was the first to explore the slow philosophy and coined the phrase “slow movement” – to comprehend the world more and appreciate its complexity. He writes, “Speed has helped to remake our world in ways that are wonderful and liberating but our obsession with speed has turned it into an addiction. When you accelerate things that should not be accelerated, when you forget how to slow down, there is a price to pay.”
Our answer to the philosophy of “slow movement” is “My Creativity Break”, three minutes of slow watching and relaxed listening. The idea behind is to have a three minutes break from your daily routine and immerge yourself consciously into the world of imagination through watching several images with music. The images and music serve one theme. The theme will change every day: it is a wide range of topics from nature, architecture, and travel to literature and philosophy. The masterpieces of classical music go along with the images and make the visual experience more complete. Music awakes emotions and makes the watching experience more memorable.
The human attention has the limited span and especially when it comes to listening to classical music, many people do not like the idea of using it as soundtrack, or even find it irritating as a background to multitasking. The classical music wants to be foreground. The visual impulses are faster so the eye takes the attention first and guides you to the image. In contrast to videos, “My Creativity Break” uses the still images that remain in front of you for half a minute. It means that there is enough time for an eye to catch the details and divert the attention again to music. The interplay of hearing and listening is truly fascinating. The result is an emotional experience when the image and music are perceived as complementary.
The power of associations is an interesting phenomenon. I remember the moments of listening to Chopin’s Fantasy – Impromptu for the first time sitting in a highly illuminated room or hearing Bach G Moll Organ Prelude for the first time in a room colored blue – these pieces are “colored” for the rest of my life. The listener’s guides always suggest for beginners in classical music appreciation to use the imagination and visualize. To close the eyes and try to imagine the scenes. This trick does not work immediately, it needs training. “My creativity break” could be a way to find the key to classical music pieces through visualization. Imagine somebody who has not discovered a wonderful world of Mahler Music yet stumbling upon “My Creativity Break” with beautiful pictures of creeping fog and being driven by curiosity to listen to the whole 3 minutes of the opening theme of Mahler the First Symphony! Wouldn’t it be a great start for them to go ahead and google it and perhaps even listen to the whole symphony?
I remember hearing the mythological story of the Venus Birth for the first time. I saw the waves of the resounding sea and the soft foam. The sound of roaring sea is music too. Just think about the beginning of the Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano concerto. The ascending and descending notes…
Surely, the hard-core classical music lovers have their ideas for the pieces but even they could discover new aspects in their favorite music through evocative pictures.
There is a saying: better to see something once than to hear about it hundred times. I would like to invite you to discover “My Creativity Break” channel in YouTube
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What is your impression after having watched the video breaks? Do you have particular themes you would like to “hear”? Do you have your favorite pieces that you would like to visualize in the “my creativity break” video? Thank you for your opinion. I am looking forward to interesting discussions, your comments and feedback!